Sidor som bilder

Marry it is thrice fifty miles,
To saile to them upon the sea.

I never was on English ground,
Ne never sawe it with mine eye,
But as my book it sheweth mee,

And through my ring I may descrye.


My mother shee was a witch ladye,
And of her skille she learned mee;

She wold let me see out of Lough-leven


What they did in London citìe.

But who is yond, thou lady faire,

That looketh with sic an austerne face? Yonder is Sir John Foster,* quoth shee, Alas! he'll do ye sore disgrace.

He pulled his hatt down over his browe;
He wept; in his heart he was full of woe :
And he is gone to his noble Lord,

Those sorrowful tidings him to show.

Now nay, now nay, good James Swynard,
I may not believe that witch ladie:

The Douglasses were ever true,

And they can ne'er prove false to mee.

* Warden of the Middle-march.



I have now in Lough-leven been

The most part of these years three, Yett have I never had noe outrake, Ne no good games that I cold see.

Therefore I'll to yond shooting wend,
As to the Douglas I have hight:
Betide me weale, betide me woe,

He ne'er shall find my promise light.

He writhe a gold ring from his finger,
And gave itt to that ladie:



Sayes, It was all that I cold save,

In Harley woods where I cold bee.*


And wilt thou goe, thou noble lord,
Then farewell truth and honestie;
And farewell heart and farewell hand;
For never more I shall thee see.

The wind was faire, the boatmen call'd,
And all the saylors were on borde;
Then William Douglas took to his boat,
And with him went that noble lord.


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The lady fett a sigh soe deep,

And in a dead swoone down she fell.

Now let us goe back, Douglas, he sayd,

A sickness hath taken yond faire ladie;

If ought befall yond lady but good,
Then blamed forever I shall bee.


Come on, come on, my lord, he sayes;
Come on, come on, and let her bee:
There's ladyes enow in Lough-leven.

For to cheere that gay ladie.

If you'll not turne yourself, my lord,
Let me goe with my chamberlaine ;
We will but comfort that faire lady,

And wee will return to you againe.

Come on, come on, my lord, he sayes,

Come on, come on, and let her bee:
My sister is craftye, and wold beguile
A thousand such as you and mee.

When they had sayled* fifty myle,
Now fifty mile upon the sea;
Hee sent his man to ask the Douglas,

When they shold that shooting see.




There is no navigable stream between Lough leven and the sea: but a ballad-maker is not obliged to understand geography.

Faire words, quoth he, they make fooles faine,
And that by thee and thy lord is seen:
You may hap to thinke itt soone enough,
Ere you that shooting reach, I ween.

Jamye his hatt pulled over his browe,

He thought his lord then was betray'd;

And he is to Erle Percy againe,

To tell him what the Douglas sayd.

Hold upp thy head, man, quoth his lord;
Nor therefore lett thy courage fayle,

He did it but to prove thy heart,



To see if he cold make it quail.

When they had other fifty sayld,
Other fifty mile upon the sea,
Lord Percy called to Douglas himselfe,

Sayd, What wilt thou nowe doe with mee?


Looke that your brydle be wight, my lord,
And your horse goe swift as shipp att sea: 210
Looke that your spurres be bright and sharpe,
That you may pricke her while she'll away.

What needeth this, Douglas? he sayth;

What needest thou to flyte with mee?

For I was counted a horseman good

Before that ever I mett with thee.


A false Hector hath my horse,

Who dealt with mee so treacherouslie:
A false Armstrong hath my spurres,
And all the geere belongs to mee.

When they had sayled other fifty miles,
Other fifty mile upon the sea;

They landed low by Berwicke side,


A deputed laird' landed Lord Percye.

Then he at Yorke was doomde to dye,
It was, alas! a sorrowful sight:
Thus they betrayed that noble earle,

Who ever was a gallant wight.



Ver. 224. Fol. MS. reads land, and has not the following stanza.



This excellent philosophical song appears to have been famous in the sixteenth century. It is quoted by Ben Jonson in his play of "Every Man out of his Humour," first acted in 1599, act i. sc. where an impatient person says,

"I am no such pil'd cynique to believe
❝hat beggery is the onely happinesse,
"Or, with a number of these patient fooles,
"To sing, My minde to me a kingdome is,'
"When the lanke hungrie belly barkes for foode."

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